Meanwhile, Hahn’s plan to limit the LAPD’s response to burglar alarms pleased no one but nearly became official anyway, winning the approval of four of his Police Commission appointees. Chief William Bratton wants his officers to stop responding to unverified alarms so he can focus on crime fighting. Hahn, under pressure from the alarm industry, got the commission to give users two false calls before the cops stop showing up. But the council moved to block the change pending further study — leaving the policy of unlimited, and costly, police response to false alarms in place for now.
On another major initiative, Hahn is expected to sign a measure this month that will cost the city nearly $3 million in business taxes but — city officials hope — will prevent companies from fleeing to places where local taxes are not so baffling. Until now, many businesses had to pay different rates in numerous categories, escalating the cost for accounting and filling out the paperwork well beyond the actual taxes owed. The council passed the single-category regulation last week.
The activity may keep the mayor’s mind off his personal life. Hahn’s separation from his wife, Monica, was formally announced Tuesday, although their estrangement has been long discussed among City Hall insiders.
Los Angeles and the tiny city of Calabasas stepped up their battle last week over the Leonis Adobe, a 19th-century house owned by a Basque rancher, smuggler and local strongman who lived on what is now the border between the two cities. The house stands as the gateway to an ersatz Old West town that makes up the central Calabasas business district, but it actually is located at the far western edge of Los Angeles. Nearly bulldozed in 1962, Miguel Leonis’ house was saved at the last minute by preservationists who quickly created a list of historic-cultural monuments and made the adobe its first entry.
As the Calabasas City Council continued efforts to annex the house, in part to recoup its costs for maintaining the road that takes visitors to the attraction, the L.A. City Council unanimously backed Dennis Zine’s effort to resist all attempts to carve off the parcel. The annexation effort also includes the Sagebrush Cantina, a decidedly non-historic nearby property best known for its crowd of Harley-riding revelers.
It is not the first attempt to wrest a piece of history from Los Angeles. The city of San Fernando has from time to time made a bid for Mission San Fernando Rey, which gives the tiny Valley city its name but sits squarely in Los Angeles.
The Police Commission on Tuesday elected attorney David Cunningham III to be the panel’s president. Cunningham, who started his legal career at the same firm as outgoing president Rick Caruso, was the only commissioner to buck Mayor James Hahn and back Bernard Parks for a second term as chief.